The Oregon Association of Nurseries praised the U.S. Senate for the Dec. 14 passage of a new federal Farm Bill, H.R. 2419, by a vote of 79-14.
The decision was hailed as a major victory for Oregon's nursery and greenhouse industry, which is one of the largest exporters of nursery stock in the country. The Farm Bill continues traditional farm income and market stabilization programs with reforms, expands conservation programs, and provides new funding for programs to help specialty crop farmers, such as nursery and greenhouse growers.
“We appreciate the support of senators Wyden and Smith to pass the Farm Bill,” said Bob Terry, owner of Fisher Farms Nursery. “Increased trade in a global economy means a greater risk of introducing and spreading harmful pests and diseases. This bill goes a long way in protecting our farms and our nation's forests.”
The Oregon Association of Nurseries made the green industry’s presence felt during a Dec. 18 hearing on proposed new state rules tightening the issuance of driver’s licenses to immigrants.
“The executive order will create serious burdens for a hard working, foreign-born workforce — and generate an enforcement mechanism that is ahead of national labor policies which require our attention and effort,” OAN Government Affairs Director Jeff Stone stated in his written testimony.
“The executive order could drive immigrant workers out of the state,” Stone continued, “leaving natural resource industries and other labor-intensive businesses without a workforce.”
He added that the change could result in a dramatic increase in unlicensed, uninsured drivers on Oregon’s roads.
Stone warned that the order appears to put Oregon in alignment with the move to create a national identification system, which he said could have “severe, unintended consequences.”
“This is an enforcement mechanism that has the real potential of creating harm to several key industries and many businesses around the state,” Stone stated.
A recent online poll of members by the Oregon Association of Nurseries asked members how they – and their businesses – were affected by the hurricane-force storms that struck Western Oregon and Western Washington in early December.
Some members reported shipping delays and storm damage to their operations, while others sustained little or no impact. Those who reported losses, however, said they and their stock are strong and will recover.
“We lost poly roofs off eight hoop houses,” said Kevin Klupenger of Evergreen Nursery. “We had about a dozen hoop house doors blown off their hinges.” It took a 10-man work crew three days to repair the damage, and meanwhile, the nursery’s Christmas tree shipments had to be rerouted due to the Interstate 5 freeway closure in Southwest Washington, he added.
Chris Ames of Oregon Pride Nurseries in McMinnville, Ore., reported similar damage. For Oak Acres Nursery in Forest Grove, Ore., the impact was even worse.
“One of our farms was completely underwater,” manager Jennifer Brenner said. “The majority of plants at that farm were underwater. We had to let our employees go home at noon so that they could make it home. All roads closed to two of our three locations at 2 p.m. All our nursery stock seems fine now but we will see come spring. We also had a pretty big landslide at our other location.”
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) proposed additional restrictions on English ivy (Hedera helix) and butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii/varabilis). ODA determined these plant species are invasive; however, the department's proposed regulations would provide Oregon nurseries limited opportunities to grow and sell these plants.
A public hearing on the proposed restrictions is set for 1:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 14 at the Oregon Department of Agriculture, 635 Capitol Street N.E., Room D, Salem, Ore. Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Jan. 15.
Currently, production and sale of English ivy, except certain named horticultural varieties, is prohibited. In early 2007, ODA proposed banning all varieties of H. helix and H. hibernica, because all varieties are considered to have invasive potential and can be harmful to Oregon's trees and forests.
However, ODA received information from growers and retailers that English ivy when used indoor or in containers, poses little threat as an invasive. As a result, ODA's proposed regulation would allow growers to grow ivy for indoor or containerized uses, such as, topiaries, patio pots, floral arrangements, baskets and/or indoor pots.
“It’s positive (for growers),” said Chris Guntermann, chairman of the Invasive Species Subcommittee of the OAN Natural Resources Committee. “It allows growers to continue to sell ivy in a limited fashion to meet market demands.”
Many Oregon growers anticipated additional restrictions for butterfly bush. The existing rule prohibits butterfly bush production and sale, except for named varieties. The proposed rules would broadening the restriction to apply to all varieties of Buddleja davidii/varabilis. These rules would, however, allow licensed nurseries to grow plants, provided they are not allowed to go to seed and are not sold in the state of Oregon.
“You can still grow and sell them,” Guntermann said. “You just can’t sell them in Oregon.”
Required reports under Oregon’s new Pesticide Use Reporting System are due by Jan. 31, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
The reporting requirement applies to anyone using a registered pesticide or pest controlled product in the course of business, or for a government entity, or in a public place.
PURS became operational in January 2007. It uses a Web-based reporting system to confidentially gather data. It will yield information on what pesticides are being used in Oregon, in what quantities, and where. Users may register by visiting the Web site, www.oregon.gov/ODA/PEST.
PURS staff members are available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays to answer questions. The number to call is 503-986-6472. Questions can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2007 Census of Agriculture is anticipated to arrive in mailboxes this month. The agriculture community’s response provides vital information that impacts decisions about community development, funding availability, farm policy, and other key issues.
Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the census is a complete count of the nation’s farms and ranches and the people who operate them. It provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the nation and is an important part of the OAN’s advocacy efforts.
Completed forms are due by Feb. 4. Producers can return their forms by mail or online via a secure web site. For more information, contact the NASS Oregon Field Office at 503-326-2131 or visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.
The 2008 Yard, Garden & Patio Show will be from Friday-Sunday, Feb. 15-17, at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., in Portland, Ore.
The show, produced by the Oregon Association of Nurseries, focuses strictly on plants, gardening and outdoor lifestyle products. Organizers say it is the best way to reach the highest number of qualified, educated customers who are ready to buy such products. The show venue offers several advantages and conveniences, both for those displaying their wares as well as those attending. It is located directly on the MAX light rail line; it has been newly expanded to offer more exhibitor space than ever; and exhibitor parking has been expanded so there is more convention center parking for customers. The show will offer more than 65 hours of free seminars and demonstrations, with something tailored for every skill level from novice to master gardener.
Businesses that have not yet signed up for space at the show still may do so by calling OAN at 503-682-5089. Registration and information are also available at the show Web site, www.ygpshow.com.
Registration has begun for the third annual Le Tour des Plants, a self-directed excursion designed to boost customer traffic to participating retail garden centers throughout Oregon.
Although the event doesn’t happen until September, organizers said it pays for retailers to sign up early. Those who do will be included in early promotional efforts, which are set to begin at the 2008 Yard, Garden & Patio Show, Feb. 15-17 in Portland.
The primary goals of the promotion are to build fall garden center sales, excite and educate gardeners about the benefits of autumn planting, and encourage the retail and wholesale segment of the industry to work together to reach these goals.
“Thanks for sponsoring Le Tour de [Plants],” one customer stated in a letter to OAN. “I have many friends and family looking forward to joining me on next year’s tour!”
Those interested in participating in Le Tour des Plants should complete and return the participation form (PDF).
For questions, or to learn more, call OAN Marketing Director Ann Murphy at 503-682-5089, or e-mail her at email@example.com.
We welcome your ideas for the bimonthly Member Update. Send them to publications manager Curt Kipp via e-mail, or call him at 503-682-5089.
As part of its 75th anniversary year, the Oregon Association of Nurseries wishes to highlight Oregon growers who have provided key leadership and made important contributions to the industry.
The OAN is looking for the people in Oregon responsible for breeding, selecting or discovering new plants and introducing technological innovations to the industry. An article in the July issue of Digger will feature these individuals and their contributions, and planning is underway for a garden of Oregon introductions at the 2008 Farwest Show.
To nominate someone worthy of recognition in this esteemed list of industry leaders, call Ann Murphy at 503-682-5089 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planning is already underway for the New Varieties Showcase, which once again will be part of the Farwest Show this coming August.
OAN is looking for growers who are producing plant material, with unique characteristics, that is new to the market or has been available only in limited quantities.
Unique to green industry trade shows in scale and design, the showcase debuted at the 2006 Farwest show and introductions were featured in a garden designed and built by an Association of Northwest Landscape Designers team for the 2007 show. Show attendees see the plants up close and personal. For additional publicity, showcase selections are featured in the August edition of Digger.
To submit a plant for NVS consideration, use the submission form. To ask questions or learn more about the New Varieties Showcase at the Farwest Show, call Ann Murphy at 503-682-5089 e-mail her at email@example.com.
Advantage Oregon and nursery shippers are busy preparing for the upcoming spring shipping season.
“We’ve added some new capabilities and carriers to our mix,” Carrier Relationships Manager Kathy Carlson said. “These changes will make it even easier for our shippers to benefit from AO.”
Load pricing is critical for Oregon nursery shippers to maintain and improve market share against growers who are closer to the marketplace. “Advantage Oregon consistently comes in with very competitive rates,” Joy Krupp of Evergreen Nursery said. AO’s carriers consistently demonstrate reliable and excellent service. With increasing volumes, AO can negotiate even better rates.
Responding to the growing trend for receivers, rather than shippers, to arrange shipments, AO works in partnership with purchasers of Oregon nursery products. Often, out-of-state buyers use smaller carriers close to them that have difficulty finding loads to Oregon. But Advantage Oregon is able to arrange prompt pick-up with trucks already in the area, shortening delivery windows considerably.
AO has also implemented a new, flexible payment program that responds to a key concerned mentioned by shippers last year. Growers or receivers now have the option to receive one invoice with payment terms (pending acceptable credit). This helps cash flow and reduces administrative hassles, both of which are intended to help small businesses.
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